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KayDenmark

Melissa Barak ballet?

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I see that 19-year-old NYCB corps dancer Melissa Barak's piece for the June SAB ballet workshop is being restaged on the entire company next winter.

Has anyone seen this precocious work of genius? :D

[ 08-08-2001: Message edited by: KayDenmark ]

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I saw it at the SAB workshop and although it is not a "work of genius," it is an interesting and unpretensious ballet. Barak has talent and knows how to use an ensemble. There are also two female solos in the piece that really captured the essence of the SAB dancers on whom they were made. It will be interesting to see whether Barak changes these to suit the particular talents of the NYCB cast.

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I also saw the ballet, and interestingly, was most impressed by what Barak avoided doing wrong rather than what she did right. The work was charming and well plotted enough, and it was impressive to see her avoid many common first-ballet pitfalls. It's too early to tell what her facility is, but it would definitely be a good idea for her to continue making ballets and see.

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The word "charming" scares me a little bit...reminds me of Christopher Wheeldon's worst excesses!...but I'm glad to see Martins giving young choreographers a chance, particularly a young female choreographer.

Was the work particularly modern or more classical? Was it plotless or did it tell a story?

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Neoclassical and plotless. It was a suite of dances for (I believe) twelve dancers with two leading ballerina roles.

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I agree with Leigh that what was most impressive is what she didn't do, which is to say she avoided the obvious cliches. It was very much after Balanchine, but there are worse models. The solos for the two girls were charming in the best since, not coy, but built around their abilities and it seemed,their personalities, so that there was a true connection with the audience that didn't rely on grinning or extraneous emotions.

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